Slash SL5 - a review about this

Discussion in 'Marshall Amps' started by Vinsanitizer, Jun 30, 2013.

  1. Vinsanitizer

    Vinsanitizer 2017 Limited Edition 'Floaties' Promo VIP Member

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    FWiW, here's my prelim review after spending hours and hours with it (about 4 or 5):

    The Good:
    • It sounds like a great 80s amp, and is the closest I've gotten to my mid-80s 2205 and 2210. Sounds nothing like DSL/JVM.
    • It has all the mids that Marshalls have lacked in recent years.
    • The bottom is tight and adequate.
    • I doesn't make me sound anything like Splash
    • The gain channel is very responsive in the way you'd expect a tube amp to react, in both playing dynamics and your guitar's volume control. It cleans up nicely, but not too pristine.
    • Clean channel is very nice; lots of top-end sparkle. It's very clean up until maybe 12:00 and then it goes to a nice grind by the time you get to max volume.
    • Reverb is nice; plenty of it. It doesn't get in the way.
    • The amp is quiet, though it has normal hiss when gain and volume is high and you're not playing.
    • More features and versatility, better build, higher gain than Class 5.
    The Bad:
    • It lacks FX loop, independent channel EQ.
    • It's heavy - about 50 whopping lbs.
    • It's largid - larger than it seems. However, its taller design makes it easily double as a stool.
    • Overpriced but not by too much when you compare it to the Class 5 ($500) which had less features.
    Other Commentium:

    • The overall voicing of the amp is bright and tight. Plenty of treble and mids, very clear. The bottom end is very tight. This makes neck pickups sound woody and clear.
    • There is plenty of gain for hard rock and early 80's metal without a pedal. Pre-Rectifier tones only - not for scooped mids.
    • Can't figure why a 5 watt amp needs to have power attenuation to 1 watt; why not just turn the Volume down? The sound is different of course, 1 watt mode is squishier as you'd expect and has less treble. Either mode sounds great. I like the 5w tones but I like the squishiness of the 1 watt. In 1 watt mode you can crank the clean channel while remaining quieter.
    • What is the need for a low sensitivity input?
    • I don't get the need for footswitchable reverb; who the heck switches reverb on & off? Get rid of the 1 watt mode, low-sensitivity input jack and the reverb switching, and add an FX loop.
    • What's with the power switch going from Standby to Off to On?
    • 50lbs. is bestial, considering a whole Vintage 30 4x12 cab weighs only 50% more (80lbs.) It's a 1x12 amp with one EL34 - how heavy could the transformer, speaker and box weigh? :scratch:
    That's all I can think of right now.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2013
  2. hidetox

    hidetox Active Member

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    thanks for the review! great read. I was seriously considering getting one.. but... ended up getting other stuff. ... enjoy the SL5!
     
  3. Groovejunkie

    Groovejunkie New Member

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    Yes. Crank it!
     
  4. Söulcaster

    Söulcaster Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    HNAD....congrats

    I don't mind having foot switchable reverb tbh....it's not essential but, comes in handy in some situations.

    Rock out
    Peace
     
  5. PBGas

    PBGas Active Member

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    Fantastic little amp! I love mine!

    A very accurate review!
    well done!

    :)
     
  6. duncan11

    duncan11 Well-Known Member

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    The #1 reason why I didn't buy one. Thanks for the writeup though.
     
  7. tarznamps

    tarznamps Active Member

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    I second the review.

    As far as an FX loop. I'm not sure how many 5w/1w practice amps will come
    with a loop. I assume Marshall/Slash figured this as a practice amp and not
    a giging or recording amp.

    If it is a really big deal, there are work-arounds, I know a lot of players that use hihg-end amps with NO FX LOOP.

    That certainly didn't stop me from getting one.
     
  8. duncan11

    duncan11 Well-Known Member

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    I know, but still at the price point this is, kinda silly to have to jump thru more hoops! Tonewise they don't sound bad imho I didn't know they were that heavy!! That'd be an eye opener!
     
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  9. Sournote

    Sournote Active Member

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    What makes the thing weigh 50 pounds?
     
  10. duncan11

    duncan11 Well-Known Member

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    slastone.....it weighs a ton......
     
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  11. Vinsanitizer

    Vinsanitizer 2017 Limited Edition 'Floaties' Promo VIP Member

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    I honestly have no idea. There's a speaker, a transformer and a wooden box, not much more than that.
     
  12. SRT2011

    SRT2011 Active Member

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    Great review Vinsanitizer!

    For the most part I agree with your review, but here are some of my thoughts that are a bit different than yours.

    1. Heavy, yeah it is for a 5W amp, but the larger cabinet with 12" V30 speaker is why, and is also why it sounds so good.
    2. I like the footswitchable reverb because it sounds great on or off in both channels depending on the needs.
    3. I also like the dual input option....I am still not sure which I like better on any given guitar. There again more versatility.
    4. I also like the 1W option. Yes, it will sound darker in that setting. No problem, use the very effective EQ and Presence controls to brighten it up to your liking.
    5. I am really impressed with how effective the EQ and Presence knobs work for a wide variety of great sounds using many different type guitars.

    I have owned my SL-5 for about a month now, and am truly enjoying the great sounds that I am achieving in both channels with multiple guitars!

    Great job Marshall!! :hbang:
     
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  13. SwampThing

    SwampThing New Member

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    ....And it's made by MOTHER-F@#%IN SAUL HUDSON!!!!!:deadhorse:
     
  14. bulldozer1984

    bulldozer1984 Everybody's Favorite Member VIP Member

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    Its heavier because of the extra thick multi layered ink. The AFD100 suffered from insufficient ink that rubbed off too easily. Not the SL5 !
     
  15. SRT2011

    SRT2011 Active Member

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    SwampThing,

    Beating a dead horse.....really??? Discussions of the SL-5 on this forum have been few and far between.....too few for that matter IMHO.

    I am not one to be judgemental of an amp because of who signs it and/or where its made. I judge amps on how they sound and frankly, hope for reliability....which of course is an unknown for all tube amps no matter how expensive and where they are made IMO.

    Hey, I understand...the SL-5 ain't your thing. No problem.

    However, I love this amp for my needs and so may others for their needs!!

    To each their own. :wave:
     
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  16. Odin69

    Odin69 New Member

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    That's a nice little amp. I played one at GC a few weeks ago.
     
  17. SwampThing

    SwampThing New Member

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    Says the guy with 42 posts.
     
  18. SwampThing

    SwampThing New Member

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    And I LAUGH OUT LOUD at "DA Slash TONEZ dont get talked about much here"

    The sky is blue

    Death and Taxes

    Marshall Forum and Slash TOANZ
     
  19. SRT2011

    SRT2011 Active Member

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    SwampThing,

    No doubt...Slash tones are discussed forever on this forum! I definitely agree with that statement. My comments about the SL-5 amp have nothing to do with "Slash tones" at all.

    I love the amp for the fantastic classic rock / hard rock and clean tones that it can provide. It is a simple as that. Others may too.

    As far as the number of posts......yes you are very correct. I don't post often, but when I do.....I try to post with something meaningful based on my experiences with Marshall amps which is what I thought this forum was all about? Apparently, you do not...at least not this time.

    :wtf:
     
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  20. Sournote

    Sournote Active Member

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    Kinda defeats some of the attraction of a 5w amp for me.

    Why lug a 50 pound 5 watter vs. a 50 pound 40 watter?
     
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